Tres Leches Poke Cake (3 Milk Poke Cake)

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Tres Leches Poke Cake

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, then you’ve probably heard me mention my buddy, Brandie, over at The Country Cook.  And if you’ve been following Brandie for any amount of time, then you know about her affinity for poke cakes.  Well, when I started brainstorming about how to put this recipe together for you and give it my own Southern Bite spin, I just knew it would be perfect as a poke cake.  Well boy was I right!  This cake is amazing.  I just love the sweetness and texture of this cake.  Tres Leches is Spanish for “3 milks.”  It gets this name because it is traditionally soaked with 3 different types of milk to produce an extremely moist and delicious treat.  I used the traditional sweetened condensed milk with half and half and then added regular milk via some coconut cream pudding to give it a poke cake element.

Tres Leches Poke Cake - Pinterest

Many recipes I’ve seen only call for you to top the cake with berries or cherries, but the best Tres Leches Cake I’ve even had was topped with pineapple, strawberries, and kiwi, so that’s what I used on this one.  You can really use whatever you want, I’d just suggest to only top the cake with fruit when you serve it as the fruit juices will cause the whipped cream to break down.  Speaking of that whipped cream, if you’re in a pinch or want another time saver, you can use an 8-ounce container of frozen whipped topping that has been thawed instead. Y’all enjoy!


Tres Leches Poke Cake - 2

Tres Leches Poke Cake (3 Milk Poke Cake)
Prep time
Cook time
  • 1 (15.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix (prepared to the box directions)
  • 1 (14-oune) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) box coconut cream instant pudding
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • cut fruit for topping (I like pineapple, strawberries, and kiwi)
  1. Prepare the cake per the instructions on the box in a 9x13 pan.
  2. Once the cake has cooled slightly, use the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes randomly in the cake. In a medium bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk and half and half. Pour that over the cake ensuring to fill the holes with the mixture.
  3. Next, combine the pudding mix and milk together in a medium bowl (it can be the same bowl you used before) and mix well. Allow the pudding to set slightly (about 5 minutes) then pour the pudding over the cake making sure to fill the holes. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or even better, overnight.
  4. When ready to serve, pour the whipping cream into a large bowl and whip using a hand mixer or in stand mixer until frothy. Add the powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time until it reaches your desires sweetness. Whip until you get stiff peaks then spread the whipped cream over the cake. Top with the fruit as desired.

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  1. The Better Baker says:

    WOWZERS! T his poke cake sounds out of this world!! We are both blessed..Brandie is one of my dear friends too!! I know she loves you…shes the very reason I subscribed to your blog posts!!

  2. Such a wonderful cake!!
    It looks simple and it has all the best flavors
    I sooooooo wish I could a big slice now 🙂

  3. Augie Rodriguez says:

    Can I use pineapple chunks in can or do u recommend using fresh pineapple?

  4. Sharon Carson says:

    Good day to you, Mr. Little. I found your website a few days ago, thanks to Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate site, and I’m so glad I did! I love your site -I spent some time browsing your recipes and I have a list pf ’em to try. I started with your Tres Leches Poke cake. I made it for a Mother’s day dinner and it was a huge hit. I make decorated cakes for most family get-togethers, but did not have the time for that nonsense this time around, but that cake was so pretty with the fresh fruit on it, no further embellishment was needed. The flavor was wonderful. My dad had two slices before everybody else got their first. I will definitely be making this again. I look forward to trying more of your recipes soon. Thank you.

    • Thanks so much, Sharon! Thanks to Christy for sending you my way! I’m so glad you enjoyed the cake and the ultimate compliment is that you’ll be making it again! Thanks so much!!!

  5. Just made this. It’s great but 5 min is too long to let the pudding sit. It should be about 3 min.

  6. Yum! I tried this Nicaraguan cake recipe before and loved it. I will try your version as this looks amazing! Thanks!!!

  7. Made it many times over and it is awesome every time. Thanks for the easy and time saving recipe!!!

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